60 Second Challenge for Learning Grand Staff Note Names

Susan Paradis has this fantastic idea on her website, the One Minute Club. It’s a very simple (the best ideas usually are!) but wonderful way to learn the grand staff note names.

60 second note naming challenge

Grand staff note name flashcard challenge

Here’s how it works.

  • You set a timer on a phone or watch.
  • You hold up one grand staff flashcard at a time.
  • Your student has to say the grand staff note names and play the note on the piano.

It’s a great incentive to get faster at naming the notes as it adds that competitive element that will appeal to many students.


One of my current projects for my studio is to create more unified and organised goals for my students. I will still have my themed practice challenges for the beginners (like this fishy themed incentive), but I’m working on a more permanent system of goals.

These are to motivate students with things other than pieces, things that often get “forgotten” in practice time. The first of these was the scale charts I posted last week. The 60 second challenge is the next on the list.

60 Second Challenge

In the same vein, I decided to create 3 levels of the 60 Second Challenge flashcards.

  • Apprentice: Bass C to Treble G
  • Superstar: Bottom line G to top line F
  • Master: All notes on the grand staff plus 12 ledger line notes

Download the 60 second flashcard files here (USA and UK versions for easy printing).

Reward Stickers

60 second stickers

As part of my new unified system I will be rewarding all challenges with custom printed stickers.

Any student who completes a challenge will get a sticker to put on their practice folder as a sort of badge of honour. The idea is that their folders will become like a scout’s shirt with all their achievements for them, or anyone else to see!

You can download the 60 second stickers files too if you’d like to use them with your students.

Do you do Susan Paradis’ 1 minute club?

Perhaps you do something similar too? I’d love to hear about how it works for you!

7 thoughts on “60 Second Challenge for Learning Grand Staff Note Names”

  1. I’ve been doing the 60 second challenge this semester. The students have to name all the Grand Staff notes in one minute or less. They get a box of theatre candy when they pass. Then the next week I surprise them with a pop quiz. If they still can do it, they get a cookie. It has been working great!!!! Kids will do anything for food. LOL I’m doing keyboard geography next. I have 64 students, all ages.

    • Tanya, great ideas for motivation!! I have been giving “Beethoven Bucks” with prizes at the end of the semester, but I think I need something to reward immediate mastery. What do you do for the Pop Quiz?

  2. I have been doing this for years! I don’t give stickers- I reward the winners with badges in bronze, silver and gold. They also get to sign the Note Mastery poster so all students can see and admire their progress.


Leave a comment

Item added to cart.
0 items -  0.00